‘Gambia, EU partnership based on shared values’

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians abroad, Mamadou Tangara, has said that EU partnership with The Gambia is based on shared values, on common concern and aspiration with the partnership growing from strength to strength.

Hon. Tangara made these remarks last Friday at GTHI during the celebration of Europe Day. EU Delegation in Banjul focused this year’s Europe Day celebrations on the same theme: Deciding Our Future.

He added that the EU has always stood on the side of The Gambia population.

“Beyond politics and economics, the Gambian people want to see the dividends of democracy and concrete improvements in their daily life,” he stated.

EU Ambassador to The Gambia Attila Lajos said Europe Day is a day that celebrates peace and unity in Europe.

Ambassador Lajos saluted The Gambia for the de facto press freedom now existing in the country. The ongoing processes in the Transitional Justice, Truth and Reconciliation, Constitutional Review, legal reforms, including media law reforms which are all a testimony to the belief in democracy and peace, core values of the European Union. 

Ambassador Lajos stated that both the government of The Gambia and the EU recognise youth empowerment and employment as a strategic priority, saying in its national strategy, the government is committed to ‘leaving no youth behind.’

“Creating a conducive environment in the country is at the heart of the EU’s intervention, so that the many Gambian Diaspora returning to The Gambia, including those without legal status in Europe, can build their future here,” he said.

As with the previous years, he declared 2019 will also be an important year for EU-Africa relations more broadly, as the post-Cotonou arrangements are being negotiated.

He underlined that as long as The Gambia progresses in its democratic transition, The Gambia can count on the EU as a reliable and predictable partner.

He further said that the partnership between EU and The Gambia reached a new dimension by jointly organising the ever successful International Conference for The Gambia that mobilised 1.45 million Euros that will greatly help the country to materialize its National Development Plan and to improve the lives of its population.

He announced that out of the promised 365 million over 347 million Euro has already been programmed, contracted and projects being rolled out in the country.

In conclusion he said: “The Gambia Sustainable Energy Project” which will make The Gambia to be the first country in Africa, if not the only country in the world, to have provided renewable energy electrification for all its public schools and health facilities, fostering children’s education and health care provision.”  

Author: Cherno Omar Bobb